Slava Dutchak moved to the US from Ukraine eight years ago to get her doctoral degree. She felt “devastated, sad, helpless, and angry” at the news of Russian troops invading her homeland last week, but she was thankful that her sister, Elona, happened to be visiting her in the US when the crisis back home started.
When demonstrators gathered in front of the White House to show support for Ukraine, Slava and Elona joined in and brought along “horishky,” traditional Ukrainian cookies filled with dulce de leche and hazelnuts. They gave out the cookies to demonstrators, but it gave Slava, an aspiring baker, the idea to sell boxes of the cookies to help raise money for charities providing humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
Virginia food entrepreneur Radhika Murari was also looking for a way to use her cooking skills to help Ukrainians. She connected with Slava online and suggested they work together to raise money to support World Central Kitchen (WCK), a charitable organization providing meals to Ukrainian refugees. So with Murari, the Dutchak sisters launched a Cook for Ukraine class where they teach how to make borscht and Ukrainian bread in exchange for donations for WCK. Within the first two days of their launch they’d already raised more than $7-thousand and are on pace to reach their $20-thousand goal by this weekend.